Keeping the kids entertained through the Summer holidays on a budget
Summer is fast approaching and thousands of parents across the UK are probably just as worries as I am about the six week Summer holiday. While it goes without saying that we all love to have our little ankle biters around the house, we all have that dreaded feeling when we ask ourselves the question – how on Earth are we going to keep them occupied?
One way to keep them happy is to go to the cinema. This may sound like an expensive option, but this is probably because you are only really used to going to the cinema in the evenings or at weekends, when it does usually cost a fortune. These are the ‘peak’ times for going to the cinema which means that prices are ramped up and the cinema is very busy. Going to the cinema during the week in the afternoon is considered ‘off-peak’, even during the Summer holidays, and it is not as busy as you would think. A great tip here is to ensure your children all eat a good lunch before you leave the house, so that way you won’t have to spend a fortune on the overpriced refreshments in the foyer.
Another way to keep the kids entertained and to keep the entire family healthy is to go to the park. Despite the fact that parks aren’t as popular as they used to be, the majority of them are still there and they haven’t been closed down. Take a ball, Frisbee, bat and ball set or the kid’s bikes as well as a packed lunch or picnic and you can really make a day of it. Be aware though that if you have young children you may end up carrying their bikes home for them. You can find your nearest local park on the gov.uk website.
Another way for the kids to get their exercise and keep out of mischief is to go swimming. Most medium-sized towns have a local swimming pool or if they don’t then you don’t have to travel very far to find one. If you’re not sure where to find your nearest pool, then use the swimming.org Poolfinder tool. Swimming is inexpensive, great exercise and competitive sports has been proven to be good mental stimulation for children. An added bonus is that it is very tiring so you can expect a nice and peaceful evening afterwards.
Remember the games you used to play in your garden during your childhood? They were fun weren’t they? Just because technology has taken over it doesn’t mean that children won’t find the things that you used to do fun or interesting. Organise a day during the week where your kids can have their friends round and you can teach them all some of the retro games that you used to play as a child. If you have young children then you can show them the wildlife in your garden as they will be absolutely fascinated by this. You can find the best retro games here, and nature walk tips here.
The living room
Of course it’s not worth putting all of your eggs in one basket and relying on a beautiful summer in the UK. Most days during the Summer holidays are either too hot to go outside and play, or too wet to go outside full stop. The way around this is to introduce some indoor games. A balloon makes a great substitute for a ball and will be less likely to damage the family heirlooms. If you have older children then try and teach them some new card games. A deck of cards can bring infinite possibilities for entertainment as there are so many games that can be played on them.